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Letters: America's problem isn't debt

March 29, 2013

Re "No debt agreement, no break," Opinion, March 25

Debt hysteria, or "austerity," is the bad idea of late that just will not die.

America does not have a debt crisis; it has an employment crisis, which, if appropriately addressed, would reduce the debt. Social Security does not contribute to the federal budget deficit; it is projected to pay out 100% of benefits due until at least 2033, and could remain at 100% forever by raising the contribution cap. Spiraling healthcare costs can be solved by doing three things: end fee-for-service, establish Medicare for all and allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices.

The current deficit mainly reflects the depressed economy, a depression that would be made even worse by shrinking the deficit rapidly. Borrowing costs are at historic lows. World War II was the largest government jobs program in U.S. history, and it ended the Depression.

When the economy is restored, then you pay down the debt.

Jeff Goodwin

Los Angeles

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